• In early October, Netflix put

    The Closer


    , a show in which comedian Dave Chappelle makes remarks deemed hostile to trans and gay people.

  • This sparked a wave of indignation within the LGBT community but also within Netflix.

    A disengagement of employees is scheduled for Wednesday.

    Protesters will gather outside the headquarters in Los Angeles and advocate for "the safety and dignity of all marginalized communities."

  • Interviewed Tuesday by


    , Ted Sarandos, one of the executives of Netflix admits to having made mistakes.

This Wednesday promises to be eventful for Netflix.

Employees have scheduled a walkout and a rally in front of the company's headquarters in Los Angeles.

Demonstrators will protest against the support given by Ted Sarandos, co-executive director of the platform in charge of content, to comedian Dave Chappelle, whose show

The Closer

, put online in early October, contains valves deemed hostile to trans people and to gays by some.


A controversial spectacle

Almost unknown in France, Dave Chappelle, 48, is one of the most celebrated comedians in the United States. The African-American artist has been singled out regularly throughout his career, which began in the 1990s, for his comments aimed at trans and homosexual people. This is again the case with

The Closer

, available since early October on Netflix. In this show, he says he belongs to "the TERF team", the acronym for feminists who deliberately exclude trans women from their struggles and demands. He claims that "gender is a fact" and that his detractors are "too sensitive". 

Dave Chappelle puts forward his experience as a black man and believes that white gays "are part of a minority until the moment when they need to be white again".

He says the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer] community has made more progress in just a few years than black people have in decades.

“If the slaves had had oil and minishorts, we would have been free a hundred years earlier,” he says in his show, among other examples.

Strong internal reactions

The reactions of indignation were numerous. The LGBTQ + GLAAD association thus deplored, with supporting studies, the negative impact that the dissemination of stereotypes on minorities could have. The storm has blown within the streaming company itself. To internet users who criticized Most, Netflix's Twitter account dedicated to "LGBTQ + stories," the community managers replied on October 14: "As a queer and trans person who manages this account, you can imagine that these two last few weeks have been difficult. We can't always control what's on the screen. What we can control is what we create here and the perspectives we bring to internal discussions. "

The stir among the staff was such that Ted Sarandos, one of the executives of the platform, sent a memo to the employees of Netflix.

He wrote that what was shown "on the screen did not translate directly into harmful consequences in the real world" and that the principle of freedom of expression took precedence.

Layoff and dismissal

Terra Field, a trans and white employee of Netflix who expressed her outrage on Twitter on October 6, was fired days later on the grounds that she had barged into a virtual executive meeting. She was then reinstated. Last week, Pagels-Minor, a trans and black employee of the platform, was fired for sharing confidential information with the


editorial staff

. Namely that Netflix had spent $ 24.1 million for

The Closer

, against $ 23.6 million for the previous show by Dave Chappelle or $ 21.4 million for the nine episodes of

Squid Game

. To the

New York Times

, Pagels-Minor, says he was actually fired just after making a walkout call through Slack messaging.

A mobilization for "the safety and dignity of all marginalized communities"

This walkout will take place this Wednesday.

"A list of firm demands" will be presented to Ted Sarandos at the rally.

If the demonstrators have not, for the time being, revealed in detail their demands, Ashlee Marie Preston, one of the organizers, spoke of "the safety and dignity of all marginalized communities".

Terra Field calls on Netflix to precede

The Closer

with a warning about its content and promote more "queer and transgender comedians and talent."

“A workplace can't be a good place if you have to betray your community,” she wrote in a blog post.

The tarnished Netflix rainbow 


The juggernaut Netflix has often communicated its desire to support, among other things, LGBTQ + people, notably through inclusive content. Ted Sarandos, in his memo, assured that the company "works hard to ensure that marginalized communities are not defined by a single story" and took as an example the series

Sex Education


Orange is the New Black

, as well as the show by lesbian comedian Hannah Gadsby. The latter replied on Instagram: “Hey Ted Sarandos. I would prefer you not to meddle in your mess. You haven't paid me enough to deal with the real consequences of the hate speech you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. Fuck you and your algorithm-based amoral cult. (…) It's just a joke: I haven't crossed a line since you just told the world that there was none. "

Jaclyn Moore, trans woman, producer and showrunner of the Netflix series

Dear White People

, has announced that she will no longer work with the company as long as it "continues to make available and profit from dangerous transphobic content."

Queer Eye

star Jonathan Van Ness,

meanwhile, recorded a video encouraging protesters and, according to


, will attend the rally.

Other talents who have worked with Netflix, such as Jameela Jamil, Eureka O'Hara, Colton Haynes, TS Madison and Joey Soloway should also mobilize.

Ted Sarandos admits mistakes

In an interview with

Variety on

 Tuesday, Ted Sarandos admits to having "missed his internal communication".

“I should have done this with more humanity.

A group of employees were saddened and hurt by a decision we made.

I think that this must be taken into account as a priority (…) Which I did not do.


The Closer

, he feels that, "under the definition of 'is the intent to cause physical injury?'

", The show" does not fall into hate speech ".

Ted Sarandos also says he is "committed to continuing to increase the representation [of minorities] on screen and behind the cameras."

Will this be enough to calm the spirits?

To be continued in the next episode.


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  • Transphobia

  • Netflix

  • Strike

  • Culture

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